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Is it appropriate to drink cocktails at a meal?

post #1 of 51
Thread Starter 
I recently hit the American drinking age (what what) and have consequently committed to drinking as often as possible in public settings (I'm joking. Ish). The only problem is that I'm not much of a wine guy, and beer seems weird in nicer restaurants. Is it traditionally appropriate to drink cocktails with meals instead of wine? I'm thinking something like whisky and soda or a bloody mary. Could I go so far as to just drink straight liquor? Just to be clear, I know a lot of people do drink cocktails with meals, I'm wondering whether it's a breach of formal etiquette.
post #2 of 51
Just become a wine guy. Did you like beer the first time you tasted it? You really don't want sweet or strong cocktails with food, unless the food blows anyway.
post #3 of 51
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by juniper View Post
Just become a wine guy. Did you like beer the first time you tasted it? You really don't want sweet or strong cocktails with food, unless the food blows anyway.

I guess this is the credited response. I'll probably have to conform eventually, so why not now?

That said, I did enjoy beer the first time I had it (it's like liquid bread!). I just don't enjoy sweet drinks (donc le vin). Maybe I'll just nurse a wine glass.
post #4 of 51
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Laer Surtep View Post
Not really. It used to be the norm in the US to do this but you may just want to drink them before you eat and then after.

Not really = it's not a breach, right? Good to know.
post #5 of 51
I'd probably get sick if I drank cocktails with a heavy meal, but ay, in America, you can pretty much do anything you want and get away with it. There's nothing wrong with having a beer with dinner, even in nicer places, IMO. Beer makes for a nice digestive aid. Just save the PBR and the kegstands for after dinner.
post #6 of 51
Don't rule out beer either. There are many (ok, a few) types of food for which beer is better than wine. Sushi to name one.
post #7 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by impolyt_one View Post
I'd probably get sick if I drank cocktails with a heavy meal, but ay, in America, you can pretty much do anything you want and get away with it.
There's nothing wrong with having a beer with dinner, even in nicer places, IMO. Beer makes for a nice digestive aid. Just save the PBR and the kegstands for after dinner.

x2. Beer is almost always appropriate.
post #8 of 51
Don't order a cocktail with a meal, damnit.
post #9 of 51
It's more appropriate to excuse yourself to the restroom where you can drink the alcohol. A bit more classy so people don't watch you as you drink the alcohol and you come across as sloppy. In that case, you don't have to worry about the etiquette of the drink you choose. If they see you order it, just say it's for a friend and they'll just think you are meeting him/her in the restroom.
post #10 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by kwilkinson View Post
Don't order a cocktail with a meal, damnit.
Or before a meal.
post #11 of 51
I often have cocktails with my meals. Almost always have a G&T before the meal at least. I am not very good with wines.
post #12 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by kwilkinson View Post
Don't order a cocktail with a meal, damnit.

Quote:
Originally Posted by iammatt View Post
Or before a meal.

how about both? double negative sort of thing, amirite?
post #13 of 51
Not a breach of etiquette, but I've found that strong cocktails served in jumbo-sized glasses that restaurants seem to prefer often detract from my meal. I've made the mistake of ordering a Manhattan with a steak dinner and couldn't enjoy the meat because of my buzz. Never again. I limit my cocktail consumption around meal time to a Negroni to whet the appetite.
post #14 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by Douglas View Post
I often have cocktails with my meals. Almost always have a G&T before the meal at least. I am not very good with wines.

You are an animal.
post #15 of 51
Standard etiquette: Hard liquor before as an apertif or after as a digestif. Wine during the meal. If a restaurant serves beer, go nuts. Stay away from crappy beers like Miller Lite and Bud Lite if you're trying to appear sophisticated (and you are, else why post the thread?). Craft beers would work (especially if you're at a gastropub). It'll pay dividends for you to learn at least a little about beers and wines. Nothing is less sophisticated than someone asking you "what kind of wine do you want?" and you saying "anything red." Wine is fairly important in the business world. You don't need to be an oenophile (although I found I genuinely enjoy learning about wine) but knowing pinot noir from cabernet could be useful.
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